Tag Archives: unbelief

25 June, Saturday – Heal Us, O Jesus

25 June

_____________________

Lamentations 2:2,10-14,18-19

Beth
The Lord has pitilessly destroyed
all the homes of Jacob;
in his displeasure he has shattered
the strongholds of the daughter of Judah;
he has thrown to the ground,
he has left accursed the kingdom and its rulers.

Yod
Mutely they sit on the ground,
the elders of the daughter of Zion;
they have put dust on their heads,
and wrapped themselves in sackcloth.
The virgins of Jerusalem hang their heads
down to the ground.

Kaph
My eyes wasted away with weeping,
my entrails shuddered,
my liver spilled on the ground
at the ruin of the daughters of my people,
as children, mere infants, fainted
in the squares of the Citadel.

Lamed
They kept saying to their mothers,
‘Where is the bread?’
as they fainted like wounded men
in the squares of the City,
as they poured out their souls
on their mothers’ breasts.

Mem
How can I describe you, to what compare you,
daughter of Jerusalem?
Who can rescue and comfort you,
virgin daughter of Zion?
For huge as the sea is your affliction;
who can possibly cure you?

Nun
The visions your prophets had on your behalf
were delusive, tinsel things,
they never pointed out your sin,
to ward off your exile.
The visions they proffered you were false,
fallacious, misleading.

Sade
Cry aloud, then, to the Lord,
groan, daughter of Zion;
let your tears flow like a torrent,
day and night;
give yourself no relief,
grant your eyes no rest.

Qoph
Up, cry out in the night-time,
in the early hours of darkness;
pour your heart out like water
before the Lord.
Stretch out your hands to him
for the lives of your children
who faint with hunger at the entrance to every street.

_____________________

Matthew 8:5-17

When Jesus went into Capernaum a centurion came up and pleaded with him. ‘Sir,’ he said ‘my servant is lying at home paralysed, and in great pain.’ ‘I will come myself and cure him’ said Jesus. The centurion replied, ‘Sir, I am not worthy to have you under my roof; just give the word and my servant will be cured. For I am under authority myself, and have soldiers under me; and I say to one man: Go, and he goes; to another: Come here, and he comes; to my servant: Do this, and he does it.’ When Jesus heard this he was astonished and said to those following him, ‘I tell you solemnly, nowhere in Israel have I found faith like this. And I tell you that many will come from east and west to take their places with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob at the feast in the kingdom of heaven; but the subjects of the kingdom will be turned out into the dark, where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth.’ And to the centurion Jesus said, ‘Go back, then; you have believed, so let this be done for you.’ And the servant was cured at that moment.

And going into Peter’s house Jesus found Peter’s mother-in-law in bed with fever. He touched her hand and the fever left her, and she got up and began to wait on him.

That evening they brought him many who were possessed by devils. He cast out the spirits with a word and cured all who were sick. This was to fulfil the prophecy of Isaiah:

He took our sicknesses away and carried our diseases for us.

_____________________

“He took our sicknesses away and carried our diseases for us”

A very good friend of mine was talking with me about his illness; he had been diagnosed with terminal illness. One of the things we had discussed was what he should be asking of God: His Will or His Healing?

For me, I have always prefixed my healing petitions, or any petition for that matter, with the words, “Father, if it is Your Will, please…”, and then attach my petition. In the midst of it all, however, we tend to forget that our Lord Jesus is also known as the Great Physician.

Today’s gospel reminds us that we should always turn to Him to ask for healing. The words that strike me in the gospel today is “You have believed, so let this be done for you”. When we ask for healing, we tend to do so in our prayers but many of us tend to lack the belief and conviction.

There was a story of a great famine and the decision was to gather all the people to pray to God for rain.  The villagers all gathered and were prepared to begin their prayers.  Just as they were about to begin their prayers, they saw a little girl scurrying to the front. Breathless, the little girl opened her umbrella.  Annoyed at the delay in the proceedings, the village head chided the little girl, “Why are you bringing your umbrella little girl? There is no need for an umbrella now and you have caused everyone to be late”.

The little girl looked at the Village Head in his eyes and said gently: “I believe in God, so I have brought my umbrella for when the rain begins to fall”.

Do we have faith like the centurion in today’s gospel and the little girl in the story? Do we bring our umbrellas along when we ask for rain?

(Today’s Oxygen by Paul Wee)

Prayer – Father, please give us, Your children, faith like little children. Help us to have faith even when things seem insurmountable. Let us have the strong belief in You my Lord.

Thanksgiving – Jesus Lord, You are our Great Physician. Thank You for bearing our pain and for healing in our physical and spiritual illness.  Thank You for giving us the gift of faith.

16 May, Monday – Faith

16 May

_____________________

James 3:13-18

If there are any wise or learned men among you, let them show it by their good lives, with humility and wisdom in their actions. But if at heart you have the bitterness of jealousy, or a self-seeking ambition, never make any claims for yourself or cover up the truth with lies – principles of this kind are not the wisdom that comes down from above: they are only earthly, animal and devilish. Wherever you find jealousy and ambition, you find disharmony, and wicked things of every kind being done; whereas the wisdom that comes down from above is essentially something pure; it also makes for peace, and is kindly and considerate; it is full of compassion and shows itself by doing good; nor is there any trace of partiality or hypocrisy in it. Peacemakers, when they work for peace, sow the seeds which will bear fruit in holiness.

_____________________

Mark 9:14-29

When Jesus, with Peter, James and John came down from the mountain and rejoined the disciples, they saw a large crowd round them and some scribes arguing with them. The moment they saw him the whole crowd were struck with amazement and ran to greet him. ‘What are you arguing about with them?’ he asked. A man answered him from the crowd, ‘Master, I have brought my son to you; there is a spirit of dumbness in him, and when it takes hold of him it throws him to the ground, and he foams at the mouth and grinds his teeth and goes rigid. And I asked your disciples to cast it out and they were unable to.’ ‘You faithless generation’ he said to them in reply. ‘How much longer must I be with you? How much longer must I put up with you? Bring him to me.’ They brought the boy to him, and as soon as the spirit saw Jesus it threw the boy into convulsions, and he fell to the ground and lay writhing there, foaming at the mouth. Jesus asked the father, ‘How long has this been happening to him?’ ‘From childhood,’ he replied ‘and it has often thrown him into the fire and into the water, in order to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have pity on us and help us.’ ‘If you can?’ retorted Jesus. ‘Everything is possible for anyone who has faith.’ Immediately the father of the boy cried out, ‘I do have faith. Help the little faith I have!’ And when Jesus saw how many people were pressing round him, he rebuked the unclean spirit. ‘Deaf and dumb spirit,’ he said ‘I command you: come out of him and never enter him again.’ Then throwing the boy into violent convulsions it came out shouting, and the boy lay there so like a corpse that most of them said, ‘He is dead.’ But Jesus took him by the hand and helped him up, and he was able to stand. When he had gone indoors his disciples asked him privately, ‘Why were we unable to cast it out?’ ‘This is the kind’ he answered ‘that can only be driven out by prayer.’

_____________________

“Help the little faith I have!”

I decided to give my team a pep talk last week because I sensed that one of my unit heads, who had only recently been promoted, was finding it tough going getting things done. Being a competitive person, he characteristically denied that he was facing issues (within himself) when I enquired. So I arranged for the team talk to help him address his multiple problems of not being able to let go, not knowing who to delegate to and getting mired in ‘admin-ese’.

To be fair to him, he always has the division in his heart and his intentions are always good. It is merely the way he has gone about doing things over the past two years that has perhaps ‘alienated’ him from the rest of the team. He is the perennial over-achiever – an outlier. So as I spent 90 minutes or so sharing with the team on my various personal work experiences and learnings, I also kept reaffirming each and everyone of them, to show that I had immense faith in their collective ability to tackle any problem head-on.

I have found myself crying out at times to the Lord, asking Him for a sign that He is indeed working in my life, as well as in the lives of those I hold dear. At times, I feel inadequate in my prayer life whenever I see my loved ones suffering under the crushing weight of their burdens. ‘Why them, Lord? Why not me?’ is a frequent question I carry in my heart. Like most of you, it pains me to see my loved ones suffer.

So each day, I ask the Lord to help the little faith I have. All I can do is pray that He will deliver those around me from their situations. That He will be as kind, as generous and as loving to them as He has been to me all these years. Because like the father in the parable, I want Jesus to heal all those who are hurting because they didn’t ask to be in those situations.

Brothers and sisters, whatever amount of faith you have in you, give it wholeheartedly to Jesus. Lay it all at His sacred feet, because that is the only way you will receive the healing that you so desire for yourself and for your loved ones. Be bold and take courage because Jesus is waiting to say ‘Get up and walk’.

(Today’s OXYGEN by Desmond Soon)

Prayer – We ask for the gift of faith, O heavenly Father. Faith that will transcend all fear and wipe away all doubt in our lives.

Thanksgiving – Thank you Father for your gift of faith in our lives.